Arab MK Zahalka questions Aharonovich on child abuse video

[ 10/03/2011 – 09:58 AM ]


NAZARETH, (PIC)– Arab Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka has submitted an urgent interpellation against Israeli Minister of Internal Security Yitshak Aharonovich questioning him over ”excessive force” used against an 11-year-old boy arrested in Nabi Saleh.

Aharonovich has denied fault in the way his forces handled the arrest.

Zahalka’s list of questions came after a video leaked on the net revealing that Israeli police strong-armed the boy into their vehicle after he was chased down by special units who ignored pleas by the boy’s mother. The boy was later taken to police headquarters for interrogation before being released.

Zahalka said that the rights of children are ”guaranteed in accordance with international laws and customs, especially in occupied areas”, pointing out that excessive force is used by police against Palestinian children.

He further said that Israeli law prohibits the public arrest of children and requires that police allow the presence of one of the child’s parents during interrogation.

Responding to the interpellation, Aharonovich denied any use of discrimination in the arrest of Palestinian children.

Commenting on questions that the child was arrested under the age of criminal responsibility, Aharonovich alleged the child had been throwing stones at a special forces unit and endangered their lives and the lives of pedestrians, and that such a crime is punishable by law.

He added that if police are unable to ascertain the age of a child, he should be arrested at the scene.

He also denied that police used excessive force, saying that force was used so that he would not evade police into the hands of locals, who had been allegedly trying to protect him.
Zahalka commented that Israeli police treat Palestinian children as a ”imminent security threat and as dangerous criminals”, adding that it is impossible to say the force used against the child in the video was ”not excessive”. He also refuted claims that police could not verify his age as his parents were both present.

Aharonovich had released statements n 2010 vowing to arrest more children in East Jerusalem, under the slogan ”no immunity for children.” He admitted his forces had arrested hundreds of children over alleged stone-throwing and threatened to arrest children’s parents if the stone-throwing continued.

Arab MK Zahalka questions Aharonovich on child abuse video.

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